I've seen others posting (via social media) where they were tonight 14 years ago so I thought I'd do the same.
It's hard to believe it has been 14 years since that glorious evening in Tempe, AZ where the Vols defeated the Noles 23-16 to become champions of the college football universe.
I was all set to watch the game from the comforts of my family's home in West Tennessee. However, right at kickoff, my 98 year old grandmother became ill and was rushed to the hospital. Naturally, I hopped in my truck and followed the wailing siren of the ambulance (at a high rate of speed) to Jackson General. When my grandmother was stabilized upon arrival, I spent some time with family to make sure all was as well as could be. I then snuck away to a waiting room where I found a TV with a screen the size of a Ritz Cracker box hoisted high into a random corner. It was there in that quiet waiting room where I gleefully watched Peerless Price pluck a Tee Martin thrown pigskin from the warm Arizona night air. As Price floated into the end zone, I was all by myself in football bliss.
I was in college at the time so many of my buddies were partying hard, dancing to "Rocky Top" and enjoying a few adult beverages. I didn't have a radio with me so I unfortunately didn't listen to John Ward. Nevertheless, after hearing Keith Jackson sign off (for what everyone thought was the last time), I strolled back down to my grandmother's room where I shared the news with everyone I came into contact with.
My grandmother recovered but later passed away in the spring of '99 so it was a difficult year. That early January evening, however, proved to be one of triumph. Here's hoping the Vols can get back to that mountain top. I'm not greedy; I'll simply take a win over the Memphis Tigers on the hardwood tonight as a proper way to commemorate this date in Volunteer history.